Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Long Gap Between Writing and Publication

Books take a long time to produce. First, the manuscript must be written. Then there's the query process, followed by the agent submission process, and then editors at publishing houses have to accept the manuscript and someone has to edit the thing. There's time needed to set the type and print the pages and bind and box and ship and it's well over a year gone by.

No one is more aware of the slow pace than Robert S. Miller, the chairman of the bankrupt Delphi Corporation. This is hardly the time to be laying down a book that trumpets his success at rescuing "America's Most Troubled Companies", is it?

Accustomed to forward-thinking statements, Mr. Miller penned his tome with the notion that, by the time the whole publishing process was done, he'd have turned Delphi around. What a grand book launch that would make. In and out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, and here's how I did it.

Sadly for the author, his predicted success turned out to be wishful thinking. Delphi is still on its deathbed, but the book is coming out anyway. HarperCollins held off on the lay-down, in the event that Delphi's creditors and shareholders came to a peaceful agreement, but no white knight ever rode into the scene with bundles of cash for the troubled firm.

The book has been launched, on the quiet. Mr. Miller is out on his book tour, largely on his own dime.

Book shops and libraries are having a difficult time in dealing with The Turnaround Kid. Where does it go on the shelves? Is it non-fiction, or is it a complete fiction?

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